Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19th

Today is August 19th. A year since my mom’s stroke. That extra year of time that I’ve had with her that I could have so easily not had.

This year has been the hardest year of my life, but also the most beautiful. It’s part of a long goodbye, but it’s also a time to know my mom more deeply. I’ve grown closer to my family, closer to my friends, and closer to Jesus.

And I’ve had a year to be with my mom. To watch Gilmore Girls and So You Think You Can Dance with her. To look through old photo albums with her. To make her scones and pies and other tasty things. To sit with her, to talk with her, to laugh with her, to cry with her. And to tell her, over and over again, that I love her.

So today is a special day, even if it feels ordinary. It marks an epoch in my life, even as I know that this long goodbye isn’t over yet. But I won’t overthink it. Today I’ll just enjoy time with my mother, and tell her I love her again and again.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let Deep Speak to Deep

“When you ‘love’ someone or ‘miss’ someone, you experience and inner pain. Bit by bit you have to discover the nature of this pain. When your deepest self is connected with the deepest self of another, that person’s absence may be painful, but it will lead you to a profound communion with the person, because loving each other is loving in God. When the place where God dwells in you is intimately connected with the place where God dwells in the other, the absence of the other person is not destructive. On the contrary, it will challenge you to enter more deeply into communion with God, the source of all unity and communion among people.

It is also possible on the other hand that the pain of absence will show you that you are out of touch with your own deeper self. You need the other to experience inner wholeness, to have a sense of well-being. You have become emotionally dependent on the other and sink into depression because of his or her absence. It feels as if the other has taken away a part of you that you cannot live without. Then the pain of absence reveals a certain lack of trust in God’s love. But God is enough for you.

True love between two human beings puts you more in touch with your deepest self. It is a love in God. The pain you experience from the death or absence of the person you love, then, always calls you to a deeper knowledge of God’s love. God’s love is all the love you need, and it reveals to you the love of God in the other. This is deep speaking to deep, a mutuality in the heart of God who embraces both of you.

Death or absence does not end or even diminish the love of God that brought you to the other person. It calls you to take a new step into the mystery of God’s inexhaustible love. This process is painful, very painful, because the other person has become a true revelation of God’s love for you. But the more you are stripped of the God-given support of people, the more you are called to love God for God’s sake. This is an awesome and even dreadful love, but it is the love that offers eternal life.”
              -- Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

I barely understand what Henri is saying here, but I know it’s important. So this will be what I rest in, soak in, ponder on for the next few days. Maybe then I’ll know more of who God is, of what God’s love is like, of how my mom is a revelation of God’s love for me.